ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Coup by Other Means

The Brazilian senate on 31 August 2016 voted to impeach the twice-elected President Dilma Rousseff. Shortly after, Vice President Michel Temer, leading those who participated in the impeachment drive, was sworn in as President for the rest of the term, which is till 2018. For Rousseff, who in the late 1960s was an underground guerrilla fighter against a military regime, the political journey that began with imprisonment and torture has ended with impeachment and ouster from office. She moved from armed rebellion to democratic politics, and has been brought down by a degenerate, corrupt politics.

The opposition to military rule from 1964 brought together a whole range of forces that combined for the purpose of ending military rule. The Worker’s Party, founded by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who was an industrial worker himself, along with civil society and other progressive forces, played an important role in the adoption of a new constitution in 1988. This constitution is unique in that it enshrined as rights of the people, education, health, etc, which the state was enjoined to provide to all.

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